Location of proposed Athlone Shannon pool 'not yet decided'
A new design image has been shared by the council of an eye-catching swimming pool development on the River Shannon in Athlone - but councillors were told the specific location for it has not yet been decided.
The 'Shannon pool concept' was one of a number of urban regeneration initiatives that were outlined to councillors at last week's meeting of the Athlone Moate Municipal District. Lorraine Middleton, executive planner with Westmeath County Council, said the pool concept had been put forward "early in the day" and that the location for it "probably will be liaised on in future studies".
While design drawings to date have shown the pool located by The Strand, and close to Flynn's Funeral Home, Ms Middleton said she felt the pool would be "better located down by Wolfe Tone Terrace or Burgess Park".
She said the image of the pool that was shared with the councillors was not a "detailed design" of what the pool would look like, but was simply to "highlight the potential" of it.
Cllr Paul Hogan said it was important to make it clear to the public that the location of the pool hadn't been decided yet. "There were previous proposals here, and a lot of concern was expressed that it could be down as far as Flynn's undertakers," said Cllr Hogan.
"My understanding is that the location hasn't been decided on, and that it might actually be more north or more south of there.
"But whatever the decision is, it must be respectful and sensitive to the business operations of Flynn's undertakers," said Cllr Hogan.
Other possible future initiatives outlined by Ms Middleton at the meeting included a new boardwalk loop development on the river, just north of the town bridge and beside the AIB Bank at Custume Place.
Ms Middleton said this development could mark "the intersection nationally between a Greenway and a Blueway" in Athlone.
"That is something that needs to be promoted and is unique to Athlone," she said.
Another design image showed market stalls trading outside St Peter and Paul's Church, in a revamped Market Square which had its car parking spaces removed.
The design for this area would aim to bring back "activity" and a sense of "placemaking" to the area and would harken back to its history as busy market square in Athlone, the meeting heard.
These development were part of a presentation by Ms Middleton on an Athlone Urban Design and Regeneration Framework (URDF) plan which is currently being developed.
The framework plan is designed to "inform the new Joint Urban Area Plan for Athlone" and to "identify key opportunity and regeneration sites for development" in the years ahead.
The redevelopment of the Connaught Street area is to be incorporated into the framework plan and will aim to "revitalise the architectural fabric" of the street while also supporting "a day and night economy" and facilitating town centre living.